Deputy director at the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs Ruth Marchan, her husband Edward Marchan and former T&T Boxing Board of Control (TTBBC) board member Shama Stroude were all recipients of cheques from the Unified Promoter's Boxing Association–a company co-owned by TTBBC special adviser Boxu Potts, which has benefited from sponsorship from the Sport Ministry.Stroude has admitted to the T&T Guardian that she made an error in accepting the cheque.
As to why Stroude–who was also a member of the technical committee at the TTBBC–was the recipient of a $7,700 cheque from Unified Promoter's Boxing Association in May 2011, this is what she had to say when T&T Guardian contacted her: "This was from Boxu? It is from Boxu, you are saying? What was the cheque for? Was it for a boxing card or something?"
Asked why payment for a boxing card would be made out in her name, given that she was a board member of the TTBBC, Stroude replied: "The only thing I could say about that is, if it related to a pro/amateur card, I normally, being a referee judge, they normally give me the money to pay the amateur referee judges."If it is made out to me on my name, I do not know if Unified Promoter's Boxing Association had a card at that time," she said.
As to whether it was the proper procedure for cheques to be made out to board members to pay referees, Stroude, who is also a referee/judge with the T&T Amateur Boxing Association (TTABA,) said: "It should not have been made out on my name. I know what you mean. I was a board member."Normally it is given in cash and I will pay the referees and judges.
"I do not know about any cheque making out to me. They cannot make out any cheque to me, because I was a board member."Asked why a cheque was made out from the Unified Promoter's Boxing Association directly to her, Stroude said: "Everybody know Mr Potts and they know what he is full of."Imagine, that is my name. Why would he do this? The only thing is, maybe it was for the referee/judges for the TTABA."
Asked why the cheque was not made out to the TTABA, Stroude said: "There were also some trust issues with officials from the TTABA."When the T&T Guardian contacted president of the TTABA, Cecil Forde, to inquire if he was aware of this transaction, he said: "That is a personal matter. It has absolutely nothing to do with the TTABA.
"If that cheque was made directly to her, we (TTABA) were not involved in that. When we had fights, the boxing board would have to authorise all payments. I do not know about any cheque being made out to anyone."Repeated calls by the T&T Guardian to deputy director Marchan for her to explain payments made to her husband and herself were unsuccessful.
When the T&T Guardian contacted Marchan on her direct line at the ministry yesterday, after identifying herself she only said: "Please call through the PBX," before hanging up the phone.However, all attempts to contact her afterwards as she requested were unsuccessful.T&T Guardian investigations revealed that on June 2, 2011, a cheque of $3,500 was made out to Marchan by the Unified Promoter's Boxing Association. The cheque was cashed on June 27.
Marchan's husband, who was employed as a head coach at Yan's Sporting Academy, which is also owned by Potts, received the following payments from Unified Promoter's Boxing Association:
According to the academy's financial documents, a head coach receives a monthly salary of $5,000. The academy was set up under the Unified Promoter's Boxing Association in 2011 at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima.Marchan could not be reached for comment yesterday as telephone calls went unanswered.
When the T&T Guardian contacted Potts yesterday, he said he was out of the country and not prepared to answer any questions."I have nothing to say," he said. "I am not responding to anything. Keep on printing my name. You are doing a good job, keep it up."He then hung up.Sport Minister Anil Roberts could not be contacted as telephone calls went directly to his voice mail.